Posts Tagged General Assembly 2020

Should Northam Reconsider Renewable Energy Legislation in Light of Pandemic?

General Assembly 2020Governor Ralph Northam is now considering hundreds of bills that were passed by lawmakers before the health and economic crisis. Michael Pope reports on one bill that some are asking the governor to rethink.

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COVID-19 Could Stir New Debate Over Virginia’s Minimum Wage

general_assembly_2020Governor Ralph Northam isn’t just dealing with the pandemic. He’s also considering hundreds of bills lawmakers sent to him last month. And, the economic crisis is shining a new light on one potentially critical decision. Michael Pope reports.

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Some Legislators Call for Virginia General Assembly to Reconvene Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

general_assembly_2020Virginia is in a state of emergency as health officials try to meet the challenge of coronavirus. Does that mean that lawmakers need to return to Richmond? Michael Pope reports.

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Despite Economic Concerns Related to COVID-19, Lawmakers Pass Budget

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers in Richmond gaveled out Thursday on what’s been a historic legislative session. It was the first time Democrats were in charge of the process since the early 1990’s. The final item on their to do list was to pass the state’s two year budget. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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What Criminal Justice Reforms Passed Out of the General Assembly This Year?

StateSeal00Democrats arrived in Richmond for the General Assembly session this year with a long list of agenda items for criminal justice reform. But, many of the more sweeping changes were scuttled. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Passed on a Paid Sick Days Proposal This Year

general_assembly_2020The Senate rejected an effort to require businesses to offer five paid sick days. Michael Pope reports.

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Bipartisan Effort to End Financial Exploitation of Seniors Headed to Northam’s Desk

general_assembly_2020Republicans and Democrats are often at each other’s throats at the Capitol. But there is one issue where they are finding agreement: fighting exploitation of seniors. Michael Pope has details.

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State Senate to Weigh In on Milk Definition

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Credit: Mike Mozart / Flickr

A bill to prevent companies from marketing soy milk and almond milk as “milk” is headed to the Senate floor. Michael Pope reports.

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To Tackle ‘Critical Need’ Lawmakers Fund More Clerks

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Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ

State lawmakers are addressing a shortage of clerks in Virginia’s district courts – after some officials said staffing levels were at a crisis point. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Lawmakers Pave the Way for More Needle Exchanges

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The needle exchange in Wise is run out of the local health department. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Thanks to legislation that’s now on it’s way to the Governor’s desk any Virginia locality will be able to start a needle exchange. The bill also makes it easier to get those new sites up and running. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Reigning in Pipeline Developers is Proving Difficult in Richmond

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Democratic Delegate Chris Hurst of the New River Valley (Credit: Virginia General Assembly)

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would double fines for water-quality violations of companies that build natural gas pipelines. Michael Pope reports other measures to increase oversight have been set aside, though.

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Should Local Government Employees Get Collective Bargaining Rights?

StateSeal00Employees of local governments may be on the verge of engaging in collective bargaining. Michael Pope explains.

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The Debate Over Paid Sick Days Continues in Richmond

general_assembly_2020With less than two weeks left in the General Assembly session, lawmakers are still hashing out an agreement on paid sick days. Michael Pope has details.

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Red Flag Law Likely On Its Way to the Governor’s Desk

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Delegate Rip Sullivan of Arlington explains his red-flag law to the Senate Judiciary Committee as gun rights enthusiasts wearing orange stickers pack the committee room.

Lawmakers are moving forward on a bill that will let authorities confiscate guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others. Michael Pope reports.

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Marijuana Decriminalization May Soon Be a Reality in Virginia

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Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Virginia is on the verge of decriminalizing marijuana, and bills to make that happen have already passed the House and Senate. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia May Soon Add Shield Law Protections for Journalists

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Delegate Danica Roem (Credit: Ted Eytan / Creative Commons)

Journalists in Virginia may soon be getting new protections against disclosing confidential sources. Michael Pope reports.

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The General Assembly Sets its Sights on Behavioral Bills

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Making laws isn’t always about balancing the budget and drawing political boundaries. Sometimes, it’s also about some of the most human of human behaviors. Michael Pope explains.

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Bipartisan Push to Provide More Oversight of Utility Bills

general_assembly_2020A bipartisan push to take back authority over Virginia’s utilities – including Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power – is making its way through the legislature. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Gun Transfers Have Become a Sticking Point for Universal Background Checks

StateSeal00A sweeping package of new restrictions on guns has been moving through the General Assembly. But, Democrats are divided about how universal background checks should be. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Religious Leaders Speak Out Against Regional Minimum Wage Approach

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Religious leaders from across Virginia gather for a prayer vigil outside the Capitol. They’re calling for a $15 minimum wage across Virginia instead of the regional approach favored by the Senate. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Faith leaders from across Virginia are pressing Senate Democrats to abandon their regional approach to raising the minimum wage. Michael Pope reports.

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Should Virginia Establish a “Preclearance” Standard?

general_assembly_2020Virginia has a long history of using election rules to disenfranchise black voters, and lawmakers in Richmond are considering a check to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Michael Pope has details.

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A Look at the Faith-Based Arguments at the General Assembly

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Credit: Steven Coutts / Flickr

Lawmakers in Richmond hear lots of arguments about money and statistics. But they also hear arguments based in faith. Michael Pope reports.

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VA House Weighs Possible Release for Sick and Disabled Prisoners

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Andre Daniels graduated from high school in Norfolk but found himself jobless and homeless at 21. (Credit: Johnay Hardy)

In most states prisoners with a terminal illness can be freed early, but Virginia only considers inmates with less than three months to live. Now, the legislature may change that, making several thousand prisoners eligible for compassionate release. Sandy Hausman reports.

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There’s Bipartisan Support for Criminal Justice Reform in Richmond This Year

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Criminal justice reform is one of the leading issues this year in the Virginia General Assembly, and it’s an issue that has advocates on both sides of the aisle. Michael Pope reports.

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State Democrats Want Increased Protections for Undocumented Immigrants

StateSeal00Undocumented immigrants in Virginia may be on the verge of getting new protections. Michael Pope reports.

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Some Senate Democrats Block Assault Weapons Ban

general_assembly_2020A controversial proposal to ban assault style weapons looks like it will not pass the legislature this year. The bill was a key part of Governor Ralph Northam’s gun control agenda. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Pope, Church & State: A weekly look at the General Assembly’s 2020 Session

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A weekly conversation about what’s happened at the General Assembly with Michael Pope and Luke Church.

Week Nine:

The General Assembly session is scheduled to wrap up Saturday and lawmakers are about to head home after a 60 day session.

Week Eight:

The end of the General Assembly session is approaching, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

Week Seven:

Democratic state senators have been derailing a few of their own party’s agenda items.

Week Six:

A flurry of activity before the crossover deadline.

Week Five:

Legislators are closing in on the halfway point of the General Assembly session.

Week Four:

The Equal Rights Amendment, abortion restrictions and guns were among the headlines from the state capitol this week.

Week Three:

Virginia’s General Assembly session often seems like a weeks-long sprint. And some believe this year’s action is moving even faster.

Week Two:

Much of the drama at the General Assembly this week has been about what might go on outside the capitol building.

Week One:

Lawmakers are wrapping up the first few history-making days at the General Assembly.

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Democrats Want to Raise the Minimum Wage, But Are Split Over the Details

general_assembly_2020Democrats are united in their desire to raise the minimum wage. But, they’re divided on how to make it happen. Michael Pope reports.

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State Republicans: Democratic Agenda is Too Expensive

virginia_flag_map_0Democrats are plowing through a massive agenda, everything from raising the minimum wage to addressing climate change. But, Republicans are worried about the cost of all that. Michael Pope reports.

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At the Halfway Point, What Has the New Democratic Majority Focused on in Richmond?

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers are zooming through the busiest day of the General Assembly session, the final deadline for moving bills from one chamber to the other.

Michael Pope reports.

Among the legislation advancing before Tuesday’s crossover deadline: Authorizing local governments to move or remove Confederate monuments and war memorials.

Another bill advancing out of the House of Delegates would change the way Virginia’s Electoral College votes are allocated.

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With Key Vote Looming on Predatory Lending Restrictions, Some Are Worried About New Loopholes

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers in Richmond are trying to crack down on high-interest loans. But, advocates against predatory lending are concerned about new loopholes that might be created in the process. Michael Pope has details.

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An Effort to Repeal Virginia’s “Right to Work” Law Has Been Shelved

StateSeal00The effort to repeal Virginia’s right to work law has failed, at least for now. Michael Pope reports.

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When Should Polls Close on Election Day?

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Democrats are taking up a number of initiatives to make voting easier, and one of those may be extending polling hours. Michael Pope reports.

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One State Lawmaker Wants to Establish an Office of New Americans

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers are considering an effort aimed at helping immigrants who move to Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Should Virginia Consider a Regional Minimum Wage?

StateSeal00Lawmakers in Richmond are moving forward with increasing the minimum wage. But, some are pressing for regional variation. Michael Pope reports.

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House of Delegates Poised for Key Vote on Non-Discrimination Policies

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers are about to vote Wednesday on a bill that would create new protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. Michael Pope reports.

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The Push for SLAPP Lawsuit Protections in Virginia

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Lawmakers are considering bills aimed at preventing frivolous lawsuits designed to silence political opponents. Michael Pope reports.

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Legislative Panel Backs Local Control Over Monuments

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A group of Charlottesville residents advocate for local control of war memorials, including Confederate monuments, during a Virginia Senate committee meeting. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Localities in Virginia are one step closer to having control over Confederate monuments in their region. A bill ceding that power passed out of a key committee for the first time time Monday. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Shopping Carts Are a Problem in Northern Virginia, and One Lawmaker Wants to Fix That

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Credit: Travis Wise / Flickr

Lawmakers are taking action aimed at removing abandoned shopping carts from creeks in Northern Virginia. Although, it could end up allowing a local government near you to take action. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Monuments Prove to Be a Topic of Debate for Lawmakers in Richmond

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A statue of segregationist Harry Byrd stands at Virginia’s capitol.

Statues of Robert E. Lee and Harry Byrd have become flashpoints for lawmakers this year. Michael Pope reports.

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Should Localities Be Able to Tax Plastic Bags?

general_assembly_2020Local governments across Virginia may be getting the ability to impose taxes on plastic bags. Michael Pope reports.

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An Effort to Bring Ranked Choice Voting to Virginia Elections is Gaining Traction

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Lawmakers are considering a number of bills aimed at making Virginia elections more efficient and effective. Michael Pope reports that one of those efforts, ranked choice voting, is moving forward.

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Will Virginia Lawmakers Implement Another Tuition Freeze This Year?

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Credit: Taber Andrew Bain / Creative Commons

For two decades, tuition at Virginia’s universities was on the rise. That ended last year after a massive new investment in higher education was available only to schools who agreed to cap their tuition rates. But, as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, it’s unclear whether lawmakers will make the same move this year.

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What Exactly is “Milk?”

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Credit: Mike Mozart / Flickr

Lawmakers are currently weighing in on a bill that would create a legal definition for milk. Michael Pope reports.

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Workplace Protections Haven’t Always Included Domestic Workers, Some Lawmakers Want to Change That

StateSeal00Democrats in Richmond are pushing a hike in the minimum wage, hoping to make life easier for low-income working Virginians. But without another change in the law, that increase won’t apply to domestic workers. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Full Virginia House and Senate to Soon Consider Reigning In Car Title and Payday Lenders

virginia_flag_map_0Virginia may be on the verge of losing car-title lenders and payday lenders. But, as Michael Pope reports, several other low-interest lending companies may be moving in to take their place — if lawmakers take action to prevent high-interest lending.

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The Push for Paid Family Leave in Virginia is Drawing Flak From Small Businesses

general_assembly_2020Democrats are pressing for paid family medical leave legislation. But, as Michael Pope reports, business groups are pushing back.

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Lawmakers Push to Impose Stricter Regulations on Student Loan Servicers

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Senator Janet Howell is pushing a bill she calls the Borrowers Bill of Rights, which she says will protect borrowers from shady practices by having state regulators crack down on egregious practices. (Credit: Michael Pope)

From car-title loans to student debt, lawmakers are hoping this will be the year when the General Assembly takes on predatory lenders. Michael Pope has this report on an effort to regulate student loan servicing companies.

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“And We’re Not Paying Them for That” Educators Flock to Richmond Requesting More Funding, Better Pay

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Educators from across Virginia join hands in massive “Red4Ed” rally in Capitol Square, calling on lawmakers to fully fund request from the Virginia Board of Education. They say educators are overworked and short staffed. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Educators from across Virginia are in Richmond today, pressing lawmakers to fully fund education this year. Michael Pope reports from Capitol Square.

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Could This Be the Year Virginia Lawmakers Crack Down on Predatory Lenders?

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Delegate Lamont Bagby of Henrico County has legislation that would drastically reduce the interest limit on car title and payday loans. (Credit: Creative Commons)

Legislation aimed at reigning in high-interest loans will get attention in the state Senate Monday. Michael Pope reports.

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